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The 2014 California Environmental Legislative Recap: An Election Year Drought

By Mr. Gary A. Lucks Get the latest expert analysis on California's new environmental and land use laws. This article summarizes legislation passed during the 2014-2015 California Legislative Session, including bills addressing water supply, hazardous waste, solid waste, cimate change, air...

Great Lakes Protection Act Reintroduced (Again)

By Meredith James As promised in Minister Murray’s mandate letter , Ontario’s provincial government has reintroduced the Great Lakes Protection Act . If passed, the Act would: · Help fight climate change, reduce harmful algal blooms, and protect wetlands and other coastal areas...

Planning For Drought and Drinking Water In Ontario

By Meredith James Climate change is worsening flooding but it will also bring faster spring runoffs, hotter summers, more evaporation and droughts. What will that mean for Ontario’s drinking water supply? Source water protection committees are trying to plan ahead. According to the Minister...

Federal Govt Stands Down Wastewater Pollution Regulations

The federal government has reached an equivalency agreement with Quebec over wastewater pollution regulations intended to protect fish. Under the federal Fisheries Act , the federal government can agree NOT to apply its regulations in a province, if it agrees that provincial regulations in that province...

California Governor Issues Drought Emergency Proclamation for 25-Percent Urban Water Conservation

On April 1, 2015, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. issued an Executive Order to address the significant drought conditions in the state. This Alert provides a summary of the key measures, which are effective immediately. 25-percent urban water conservation target statewide is in effect...

OECD Recommends More Tariffs and Taxes to Manage Water Risks

By E. Lynn Grayson Today's financing mechanisms cannot cover the cost of upgrading old water systems, due to public budget cuts, a failure to reflect future costs in water charges and a drop in tariff revenues as city dwellers use less water. A new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation...

Water Scarcity—Important Developments

By E. Lynn Grayson While much progress has been made in the U.S. to address water quality since the first Earth Day in 1970, increasingly the critical issue of the day is water quantity and specifically sufficient availability of safe water for everyone. According to the World Water Council, 1 in...

New U.S. Treasury Paper Builds on Momentum for Public-Private Partnerships to Address Public Infrastructure Shortfalls

By Alexander J. Bandza , Associate, Jenner & Block The problem of aging public infrastructure in the U.S. and around the world is well recognized. For example, U.S. businesses pay $27 billion in additional freight costs because of the poor conditions of roads and other transportation infrastructure...

State Net Capitol Journal – Deepening California Drought Poses Several Challenges

After years of magical thinking about rains that rarely came, California agencies are struggling to combat the state’s prolonged drought through myriad mandates, restrictions and development of alternative sources of water. They have a long way to go. Responding to a fourth year of drought that...

Administrative Watch: EPA Issues New Rule on Definition of Waters of the United States

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released the long-awaited final rule redefining the extent of the agencies’ jurisdiction over “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act...

Virginia’s Draft State Water Resources Plan

By Henry R. "Speaker" Pollard, V The severe drought in Virginia in 2002 saw several localities nearly exhaust available public water supplies and reenergized public policy concerns about Virginia’s water resources and their proper and sustainable management. This led the General...

Change Management for the Industrial Wastewater Discharger

By Ryan W. Trail Facilities discharging industrial wastewater to Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) must be keenly sensitive to changes in the nature and volume of their discharge. Proper planning, notification and interaction with the POTW may mean the difference between the smooth road of...

Farms and the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA)

By Jessica J.O. King Pursuant to the Clean Water Act’s Oil Spill Pollution, Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Rule (SPCC Rule) 1 , farmers and other oil storage and handling facilities are required to have an SPCC Plan to prevent oil spills into “Waters of the United States.”...

New Rule Clarifies Federal Government Authority to Regulate Certain Bodies of Water

By Brendan K. Collins and Michael C. Duffy The final Waters of the United States rule, jointly proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last spring, was signed on May 26, 2015, and aims to clarify the federal government’s authority to regulate...

US Recommends Reducing Fluoride In Drinking Water

By Meredith James Communities throughout Canada and the US add fluoride to their drinking water supplies to prevent dental cavities. As we’ve written about before , some opponents claim that the risk of adverse health effects outweighs the public health benefits of fluoridation. A recent...

Cheese Whey Spill: $80,000 Fine

By Meredith James Even seemingly innocuous substances, like human food and drink, can be hazardous to the natural environment. And spills of food and drink must be reported. Silani Sweet Cheese Limited manufactures a cheese at a facility in Bradford, West Gwilliumbury. In January 2013, ricotta...

“Clearing” the Waters – U.S. EPA and the Army Corps Finalize “Waters of the United States” Definition

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“U.S. EPA”) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) issued their highly anticipated final revision to the definition of “waters of the United States.” Commonly referred to as the “Clean...

Creative Sentence For Ontario Concrete Company

A Sudbury ready mix concrete company, Rainbow Concrete Industries Ltd ., pleaded guilty to one count under s. 30 of the Ontario Water Resources Act , for discharging concrete waste water into a Sudbury creek, and received a creative sentence plus a fine. This is good news. Creative sentences, i.e...

Pope Francis On Environmental Law

By Michael B. Gerrard The remarkable Encyclical Letter issued last month by Pope Francis could be read as a primer on the importance and idealized operation of many of our environmental laws. The headings below are mine; the text is from the Vatican. National Environmental Policy Act 183...

Fisheries Act Convictions For Discharging Drinking Water

Two Alberta construction companies have been convicted under the Fisheries Act for rupturing municipal water mains, discharging chlorinated drinking water into storm sewers and fish habitat. Treated municipal drinking water is harmful to fish, which is why it cannot be used as is in aquariums. So...

Lesson Learned from EPA Enforcement of EPCRA Form R Requirements

By Ryan W. Trail EPCRA § 313 requires certain facilities manufacturing or “processing” more than 25,000 lbs. or otherwise using 10,000 lbs or more of a listed toxic chemical to file a Form R annually on or before July 1. In the last two issues of this newsletter, we discussed frequently...

2015 RELX Group Environmental Challenge Winners Announced

According to the World Health Organisation, at least 1.8 billion people globally use a drinking-water source contaminated with faeces, and by 2025, half of the world's population will be living in water-stressed areas. 2.4 billion people still do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets...

Drought: Water Restrictions Reach Oilsands

Unprecedented water use restrictions, due to widespread and extreme drought, are in force in western parts of the US and Canada. California is in its worst drought on record . Widespread water shortages have prompted state governor Jerry Brown to proclaim a State of Emergency and issue an executive order...

Federal Court Preliminarily Enjoins EPA and Army Corp Waters of the United States Final Rule

On August 27, 2015, a federal district judge in North Dakota, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], preliminarily enjoined the final rule of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), titled "Clean Water...

State Net Capitol Journal – Here Comes El Nino and Drought Stokes Wildfires in Western States

California Update: Here Comes El Nino While much of the West suffers through an epic drought that has contributed to a deadly fire season, state and local officials are bracing for a severe El Nino winter that could bring substantial rain along the Pacific Coast and significant snowfall in the mountains...